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dasgeh
12-18-2013, 02:36 PM
At the last ABAC meeting, held in Crystal City, the Crystal City BID presented about the Sector Plan and thoughts on bike connections.

I was thinking about the challenge of the east-west bike connections. Then I read the piece about the mayor of Bogota and his idea to reserve every other street for buses and bikes, which got me thinking:

Why not just restricted 12th St and maybe 18th St for buses and bikes? Or make them REALLY ANNOYING for cars, like they do in London?

KLizotte
12-18-2013, 02:51 PM
Because of all the apartment/office apartment buildings you could not do this since a lot of them only have one garage opening. Apartment residents will not be too pleased if they cannot drive home!

rmandle
12-18-2013, 03:11 PM
Because of all the apartment/office apartment buildings you could not do this since a lot of them only have one garage opening. Apartment residents will not be too pleased if they cannot drive home!

Interesting idea, though I'd agree with this response. There are not a lot of ways to get in/out of Crystal City and giving vehicles lots of options and keeping the neighborhood connected in a network is key. Though the thought behind the comment is a good one. Better accommodations than are currently planned for cycling are needed on the east-west connections, especially at 12th, 15th, and 18th Streets to ensure that Crystal City, Pentagon City are connected to each other and to the bicycle infrastructure that is the MVT, Four Mile Run Trail, and the future Eads Street, Army Navy, and Clark Street Cycle Tracks.

dasgeh
12-18-2013, 03:58 PM
Because of all the apartment/office apartment buildings you could not do this since a lot of them only have one garage opening. Apartment residents will not be too pleased if they cannot drive home!

Why couldn't you do it London-style, where you could drive, it's just annoying to drive (so only locals would want to)? How does London do it? Ridiculously narrow streets, needless sections where only one car can fit through, needless obstacles, and of course, speed humps. There are accommodations for bikes for these (or a bike-only route). Funnel all of the cars onto 15th, with the highway exits.

consularrider
12-18-2013, 04:09 PM
Why couldn't you do it London-style, where you could drive, it's just annoying to drive (so only locals would want to)? How does London do it? Ridiculously narrow streets, needless sections where only one car can fit through, needless obstacles, and of course, speed humps. There are accommodations for bikes for these (or a bike-only route). Funnel all of the cars onto 15th, with the highway exits.
You do have to admit that some of those sections of London were built over 200 years ago with no thought to inconveniencing auto traffic ... Actually Arlington has lots of those ridiculously narrow streets accomplished by allowing free on street parking on both sides.

lordofthemark
12-18-2013, 04:12 PM
Why couldn't you do it London-style, where you could drive, it's just annoying to drive (so only locals would want to)? How does London do it? Ridiculously narrow streets, needless sections where only one car can fit through, needless obstacles, and of course, speed humps. There are accommodations for bikes for these (or a bike-only route). Funnel all of the cars onto 15th, with the highway exits.


Due to Jeff Davis highway, there are only 4 EW routes for motor vehicles in the 3/4 of a mile from 12th to 23rd, I guess. The road network is already too impermeable - the legacy of superblocks and the highway. I am not sure what the volume of motor vehicle traffic on those roads is, but I suspect its too high to make forcing it all to 2 or 3 routes a good idea (and of course it would meet tremendous political resistance. A more permeable network would make an all bike/bus road more viable, (but in that case would a bike boulevard do as well?) but that would involve cutting through the superblocks (not sure if thats on the table) and additonal intersections with Rte 1 (doubt VDOT will go for that).

I would instead push for better E-W bike infra (a cycle track, maybe?) and bus lanes, and wider sidewalks. And if that means less RE for the general travel lanes, so be it. Then if and when mode share shifts significantly, revisit.

PotomacCyclist
12-19-2013, 08:27 PM
I hadn't heard about the Eads Street cycletrack before. Could be interesting, although I tend to use Crystal Drive for north-south travel.

***
The following is more of a pedestrian issue than a cycling one: Some of the pedestrian WALK signals don't seem to activate automatically with green traffic lights. They only activate if a pedestrian pushes the button. This can be a problem because most pedestrians naturally assume that if there is a green light in the same direction (and no left turn lights for cars), then it should be acceptable to walk through the crosswalk. If the pedestrian misses the green light cycle, then he/she will have to wait until the next cycle. Or if the pedestrian begins to cross, some drivers will try to push through the crosswalk while turning left, because they think that the absence of the WALK signal means that they have priority over pedestrians.

There are a lot of pedestrians in Crystal City and Pentagon City, enough that WALK signals shouldn't be an afterthought. Can something be done about the WALK signals not activating automatically with the green traffic lights in the same direction?

JoeCool
07-17-2014, 03:45 PM
Using the Crystal City Title for a slightly different topic, but I'm hoping those in the thread would be interested.

What do you do, on your bike, when you get to the narrow tunnel under the GW Parkway? What do you think the city could do to make it better now?

My thoughts: a few well placed signs warning of a narrow walkway (and maybe "slow to a walking pace"), or maybe some paint on the ground to help keep us bikers from close calls as we approach from opposite directions.

vern
07-17-2014, 04:11 PM
Using the Crystal City Title for a slightly different topic, but I'm hoping those in the thread would be interested.

What do you do, on your bike, when you get to the narrow tunnel under the GW Parkway? What do you think the city could do to make it better now?

My thoughts: a few well placed signs warning of a narrow walkway (and maybe "slow to a walking pace"), or maybe some paint on the ground to help keep us bikers from close calls as we approach from opposite directions.

I slow as I approach and defer to on-coming traffic if it's there, otherwise, I proceed. Obviously others don't defer and push through, which makes for a tight squeeze when we pass. I haven't said anything to any of those people yet.

CaseyKane50
07-17-2014, 04:13 PM
Using the Crystal City Title for a slightly different topic, but I'm hoping those in the thread would be interested.

What do you do, on your bike, when you get to the narrow tunnel under the GW Parkway?

I yield to anyone in the tunnel. If I am behind a cyclist, jogger or pedestrian, I slowly ride behind them until clear of the tunnel. When approaching the tunnel, I check to see if anyone is approaching from the other side.

consularrider
07-17-2014, 04:47 PM
There are two narrow places, the tunnel under the GW Parkway which while wide enough for two cyclists, has poor sight lines at either end with a climb up to Crystal Dr. Going either way I slow to a brisk walking/slow jogging pace and ride through. The other is the the narrower section under the on ramp flyover. That is marginally wide enough for two cyclist to pass in opposite directions (at least slightly better than the Memorial Bridge underpass). I will generally wait until the cyclist/runner/pedestrian coming the other direction has cleared, especially when there is water/mud along the streetside divider.

PotomacCyclist
07-17-2014, 11:10 PM
I treat the tunnel the way Metro does with single-tracking. One bike at a time in either direction. If someone is already in the tunnel, I stop and wait for them to pass by. If I'm in the tunnel, I would hope that other cyclists would wait for me. Most do, but the occasional jerk speeds through (and nearly clips me). I do say something on the few occasions when someone has done this.

If there are pedestrians, I follow them slowly, and do not attempt to pass them. I see it as an opportunity to practice my bike handling and balancing skills while riding at about 2-3 mph. So it's not wasted time for me. Some pedestrians will move out of the way for me to pass, but not because of anything I say or do. I never call out a pass in the tunnel because I never intend to pass. Only if the pedestrians decide on their own to squeeze to the sides and expect me to pass, then I will slowly pass them, reluctantly.

As long as people are courteous, the narrow tunnel is workable, although I'd like to have a wider tunnel someday. I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

dasgeh
07-18-2014, 02:51 PM
I just went through there today (for the first time in a while). The first (westernmost) tunnel I found to be totally fine to pass bike or ped (with appropriate recognition of the blind curves on either side). As for the other one, maybe it's just because I ride the TR Bridge daily, but I didn't find it _that_ bad. It's definitely wider than the MVT under the Memorial Bridge, and probably a hair narrower than the TR Bridge sidepath. I passed a ped coming toward me with no problem. A bike coming toward me may have been different -- we would have both needed to slow way down, like on the TR -- but it seems doable, I'd probably wait, but wouldn't stress if someone else didn't. I wouldn't pass a ped going the same direction because of sightlines.

creadinger
07-21-2014, 01:10 PM
There are two narrow places, the tunnel under the GW Parkway which while wide enough for two cyclists, has poor sight lines at either end with a climb up to Crystal Dr. Going either way I slow to a brisk walking/slow jogging pace and ride through. The other is the the narrower section under the on ramp flyover. That is marginally wide enough for two cyclist to pass in opposite directions (at least slightly better than the Memorial Bridge underpass). I will generally wait until the cyclist/runner/pedestrian coming the other direction has cleared, especially when there is water/mud along the streetside divider.

I'm not sure where you are describing. Do you mean the tunnel under the train tracks? With the steep little climb up to Crystal Dr.? What you mean by the on-ramp flyover? There's an off-ramp flyover nearby, but that's not narrow, it's near a sharp turn going up to the MVT that makes that difficult.

For the most part the train tunnel isn't too narrow for two-way traffic but the sight lines are so bad, it's not a good idea to pass anyone in the tunnel. The tunnel under the GWP is a pain. I usually do what PotomacCyclist does. Now that the 4MR section is open again I don't need to ride this section very much again.

Steve
07-22-2014, 09:24 AM
I'm not sure where you are describing. Do you mean the tunnel under the train tracks? With the steep little climb up to Crystal Dr.? What you mean by the on-ramp flyover? There's an off-ramp flyover nearby, but that's not narrow, it's near a sharp turn going up to the MVT that makes that difficult.

For the most part the train tunnel isn't too narrow for two-way traffic but the sight lines are so bad, it's not a good idea to pass anyone in the tunnel. The tunnel under the GWP is a pain. I usually do what PotomacCyclist does. Now that the 4MR section is open again I don't need to ride this section very much again.

He's talking the same as you. Leaving CC going toward MVT, the first tunnel is plenty wide, but somewhat poor sight lines, especially with the steep hill on one end of it. I think people pass in that tunnel just fine, but due to sight lines should go fairly slow. The second tunnel you would come to is the more narrow one that goes under an off ramp.

Agree with dasgeh on most of this. The narrow underpass is wider than the Memorial bridge underpass, similar or more narrow than the TR bridge sidepath, and probably a touch more narrow than the South Cap St. Bridge sidepath. I think it's safe for a runner heading one way and a cyclist heading the other. Two bikes is pretty tricky, and usually requires one of them to stop. I think two bikes approaching must treat this as a zipper section (one after another). I also agree with creadinger that a bike coming up behind a walker/jogger should ride behind them and not pass. It is trickier to pass someone going in the same direction than it is in opposite directions, and I don't think it is a safe pass. It's also not very long, so just chill out and lose 10 seconds.

Steve
07-22-2014, 09:27 AM
and probably a hair narrower than the TR Bridge sidepath.

Can anyone explain to me the low height of the guard rail on the TR Bridge sidepath? I ride my bike a lot, and nearly always feel comfortable on it, but I refuse to ride into the city on that path. It just freaks me out too much.

dasgeh
07-22-2014, 11:00 AM
Can anyone explain to me the low height of the guard rail on the TR Bridge sidepath? I ride my bike a lot, and nearly always feel comfortable on it, but I refuse to ride into the city on that path. It just freaks me out too much.

To weed out the brave from the weak?

Seriously, though, this bridge is the best part of my commute if there's nobody else on it (oh, the views!) and the worst part if there are other people. They could have put a useful height barrier on the road bed (instead of on the raised trail bed) and made everyone safer.